Our team of specialist regulatory solicitors advise on food safety legal compliance issues and represent clients suspected of committing food safety and hygiene offences.
Our solicitors have worked with a wide variety of food businesses including food manufacturers, hoteliers and owners of takeaways.
The consequences of a prosecution for a food business can be severe: criminal convictions, imprisonment for individuals, hefty fines, and adverse publicity leading to loss of reputation.
If your business is facing an investigation by a regulator such as a local authority, our specialist food safety solicitors can help support you by:
- Assisting with the gathering of evidence, including expert evidence
- Advising and representing you following the service of a hygiene improvement or hygiene emergency prohibition notice. A hygiene improvement notice may be served where an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for believing that you are not complying with hygiene regulations. The notice will set out the non-compliances, what needs to be done to put things right and the timeframe for doing so. A hygiene emergency prohibition notice may be served where there is a risk of injury to health arising from the use of any process, treatment or equipment, the construction of any premises or the state/condition of any premises or equipment for the purposes of the food business. If you are served with such a notice, you will be prohibited from using the equipment or premises as specified in the notice, and this could mean the closure of your premises
- Advising on your options if you or your business are invited to an interview under caution (PACE interview). This is an important stage of an investigation, as the regulator will suspect that you have committed an offence and answers you give under caution may influence how the regulator decides to proceed in relation to enforcement action and be used against you in any subsequent prosecution. We can represent you at an interview under caution or advise you in relation to providing written answers to questions under caution, depending on the circumstances
- Liaising with the regulator. This may include putting forward arguments that it is not in the public interest to proceed with a prosecution or that an alternative to prosecution (for example a formal caution) would be more appropriate in the circumstances of the case
- Advising on potential penalties following a prosecution, including ancillary orders such as director disqualification and hygiene prohibition orders
- Representing you at the Magistrates’ or Crown Court
So that we can help you achieve the best possible outcome, we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible if you become aware of an investigation or receive a formal enforcement notice or court summons.
Why choose Trethowans?
Our food safety solicitors are experienced in dealing with food safety issues, liaising with regulators and dealing with regulatory disputes.
For more information about how we can help you, please contact our regulatory team by calling 0800 2800 421 or using our contact form above.